NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former U.S. senator has testified at the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez.
Former Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa testified he met with Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen in 2011 to discuss Melgen’s multimillion-dollar billing dispute with Medicare.
Menendez referred Melgen to Harkin, who chaired a Senate health committee at the time.
Harkin testified he listened to Melgen but didn’t take any action. He said Menendez attended the meeting but didn’t speak.
On his way out of court, Harkin stopped to shake Menendez’s hand.
Prosecutors contend the meeting was one of numerous examples of Menendez using his political influence in exchange for trips on Melgen’s private plane and luxury hotel stays.
The two men are longtime friends and deny there was any bribery agreement.